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Park Seo-jun talks about ‘Itaewon Class,’ cancellation of pop-up bar plan

Yoo Jae-myung and Park Seo-jun (JTBC)
Yoo Jae-myung and Park Seo-jun (JTBC)

Owing to the nationwide COVID-19 outbreak, actor Park Seo-jun said he would have to cancel the pop-up bar he had promised to open if the drama series “Itaewon Class” succeeded to reach a 10 percent viewership rating.

“I will try to find some other way to express our gratitude. I had not expected this situation when I had made the promise. Although promises are important, I believe it is more important that the (COVID-19) situation gets better,” Park, who plays the lead role of Park Sae-ro-yi in the drama, said during the press conference on Friday. The press conference was streamed online due to the new coronavirus outbreak.

Halfway through its journey, the 16-episode series “Itaewon Class” on JTBC is gaining more popularity every episode. Breaking the record for its own ratings with the release of each episode, “Itaewon Class” has marked the second highest ratings as a JTBC drama, scoring 12.6 percent in average viewership ratings on its latest episode.

While that is still well behind the 23.8 percent achieved by the channel’s highest-rated show “SKY Castle” from last year, the hopes are high for the remaining half of the story, the production team stressed.

The drama is based on the popular webcomic series of the same title written by Cho Kwang-jin released through portal website Daum. With Cho writing the script for the small screen adaptation, the story sticks to the original plot, in which Sae-ro-yi takes on a long battle with the franchise conglomerate Jang Ga Group, responsible for his father’s unfortunate death.

“I assure you the unravelling of the conflict between Jang Ga and Danbam (Sae-ro-yi’s restaurant) will be worth the watch,” veteran actor Yoo Jae-myung, who plays the powerful yet villainous CEO Jang Dae-hee, said.

In the recent episodes of the drama, the conflict between Sae-ro-yi and Jang Ga heightened, as the young man steps up his way in revenge of the aged CEO.

The love triangle between Sae-ro-yi, his first love Oh Soo-ah, and Danbam’s intelligent but sociopathic manager, Jo Yi-seo, will also raise the tensions in the episodes to come.

“I think many people will be wondering of Soo-ah’s choice (between Sae-ro-yi and Jang Ga),” singer-actor Kwon Nara, playing Soo-ah, said, hinting of the turns in the story. Actress Kim Da-mi plays Jo Yi-seo, the bold and down-to-earth 20-year-old who doesn’t hide her feelings for Sae-ro-yi.

The ninth episode of the “Itaewon Class” will air at 10:50 p.m. Friday.

By Choi Ji-won (